U.S. Equity Futures Slip; Dollar Edges Higher: Markets Wrap

U.S. equity futures saw a modest retreat in early Asia trading Monday as markets got underway in another holiday-hit week. The dollar edged higher.

S&P 500 futures slipped after President Donald Trump declined to approve a $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package. Japanese contracts were little changed. The greenback advanced against the yen and kiwi. Treasury futures were steady. Oil fell and gold ticked higher.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will be in focus after its U.S.-listed shares tumbled the most ever on concern over China’s inquiry into alleged monopolistic practices at the e-commerce company. Chinese regulators over the weekend ordered affiliate Ant Group Co. to return to its roots as a provider of payments services, a development that threatens to clip its growth.

Elsewhere, the pound dipped after the U.K. last week clinched an historic Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

Delayed U.S. stimulus risks sapping some of the optimism that drove global stocks to a record this month. Unemployment benefits have begun expiring for millions of Americans and a possible government shutdown looms after President Donald Trump refused to sign the bipartisan U.S. pandemic relief and government funding bill. Trump has demanded Congress boost stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600. Votes are expected Monday to try and break the deadlock.

On the coronavirus front, more restrictions are being imposed to fight the spread of the new, more infectious strain. Japan is among the latest to act, banning the entry of most foreigners through the end of January. Meanwhile, the European Union kicked off a continent-wide vaccination campaign less than a week after clearing a shot developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.

In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin kept rallying over the festive break, surging past $28,000 for the first time before retreating.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • President Donald Trump has until the end of Monday to sign the combined pandemic relief and funding bill to avoid the start of a partial government shutdown.
  • U.S. pending home sales and goods trade balance data are due Wednesday.
  • U.S. initial jobless claims figures are published Thursday.
  • Most global stock markets are closed Friday for New Year’s Day.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures fell 0.1% as of 8:14 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.4% on Thursday.
  • Nikkei 225 futures were little changed.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed Thursday.
  • The yen dipped 0.1% to 103.58 per dollar.
  • The euro was flat at $1.2197.
  • The pound dipped 0.1% to $1.3552.
  • The offshore yuan was at 6.5196 per dollar, down 0.1%.
  • The Aussie was little changed at 75.99 U.S. cents.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 0.92% on Thursday.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1% to $47.74 a barrel.
  • Gold advanced 0.2% to $1,887 an ounce.

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